The second roastery that will make us company this Christmas is 80plus. This is a roastery that we first got to try at a coffee-bar in Lisbon in 2019 and that we have been longing to drink again since then.
80plus is founded by Jordi in Barcelona, inspired by the gastronomical scene in Barcelona and deeply engrained in coffee, he is the third generation working with coffee in the family.
This is truly a micro-roastery, with a team of three working full time. We had the pleasure to speak with Anete, the Head Buyer of Green Coffee, Sensory Trainer and certified Arabica Q-grader.
Here you can get to know 80plus.
Can you tell us a bit more about you, who started 80 plus?
- 80plus started more than 7 years ago, when we saw specialty coffee blooming in Barcelona. As the family of Jordi has three generations of experience in coffee, it seemed only logical to dip our toes into specialty coffee, and we ended up diving into it completely when the brand was born. His family has actually passed through the three coffee waves, with all the experience in his pocket, with 80plus he wanted to give the opportunity to others to take that leap from a more “traditional” coffee to a more exquisite and traceable product.
What is your background and how did you start with coffee? (We heard the family behind 80plus have more then 100 years in coffee)
- Jordi’s grandfather was one of the first to build a serious coffee business in Spain. He was about 12 years old when he started bringing small coffee bags to the people’s doors to sell and already by the age of 16 had created a business where he hired his own father to work for him!
In no time he had built one of the biggest and most important roasteries in the country and in Europe at that time.
Later on Jordi and his father would be one of the first coffee roasters and cafés to serve 100% arabica coffees in the early 80s, passing on to origin coffees. So when specialty coffee appeared in Spain, it just seemed the perfect next step.
How did the idea for 80 plus arise? How was the journey to where you are now?
- The idea for 80plus started after the first barista championships in Spain, from there on it was very quick to come to the market.
The journey has been quite interesting, it has been curious and also difficult to find a specific specialty coffee niche, but we think in the past two years we have really understood our perfect client. Since there are so many coffee roasters today, it is extremely important to have your specific niche. And for us it’s important to take people who love gastronomy and wine, and lead them by the hand to get to know and love specialty coffee and its amazing flavours too!
We really like your coffees but also your unique packaging, how did you come up with them?
- We are always trying to do our best sustainability-wise. And coffee unfortunately oxides very quickly after roasting, so it can’t just be a paper bag. And most coffee packaging out there is not at all sustainable, not recyclable, many countries don’t have a very good recycling system, even if it is recyclable.
So we just though - OK, we already have a machine to close metal cans, what can be better than a material that you can recycle up to infinity, with little energy and we can make them beautiful, so people can actually reuse them! We generate so much trash nowadays, that a reusable option just seemed perfect.
Also we always want to mention that metal doesn’t let even tiny oxygen or moisture particles enter inside, so the coffee is completely protected from the outside environment.
They are packed with a modified atmosphere, so the oxygen is actually pushed out of the can, making the coffee last even more, so once you open it, it will really smell as if it was roasted a few days ago, even if you open it after a month!
Your name 80 plus - is it connected to the coffee grading system? How come you chose that name?
- Yes, exactly, we thought it would be something simple to understand for the specialty coffee community, and a good way to start a conversation and explain the basics from the get go to people who don’t know anything about specialty coffee or the grading system.
What are you looking for in the coffees that you choose?
- We always have three “steps”, as we like to call them. The first step are coffees that are easy to drink in espresso, as that is the extraction of choice here in Spain. Because we really do hope that more people who use “traditional” or commodity coffee will be less scared to switch to specialty, if it is something they can understand and explain to their clients at their restaurants or cafés. So there are coffees that are smooth, balanced, with chocolatey notes. Mostly these are coffees from Brasil, we have a year-long collaboration with a woman producer from Carmo Coffees, which we absolutely love.
The second step is for those who have already advanced from the more “careful” first step choice, with some fruity and more citric notes. We have been working for a few years with some amazing people from Colombia, and we will definitely keep doing it! The coffees are always amazing and we love to keep close relationships with our green coffee providers.
The third step are those funky coffees and some special microlots. These are mostly for adventurous people or those who are already specialty coffee “veterans” and here we really like to experiment, we never have a specific flavour in mind. The more weird and funky, the better!
But anyhow, we appreciate long term relationships and sustainability projects that support young farmers, or women producers, so there are many coffees that you will see on our menu that will always appear when the new crop comes in.
A last question: What is your favourite Christmas song to play at the roastery? :)
Now, onto the coffee! The story behind this coffee really captured us.
CAFÉ DES MAMAS
Region: Gicumbi District
Producer: Nova Cafe des Mamas
Altitude: 1500 - 1700 masl
Variety: Red Bourbon
Café des Mamas is a project run by Nova Washing Station, a coffee farm in North Rwanda run by women and committed to the education of women.
Nova has been owned by Agnes Mukamushinja, a Rwandan woman since 2013, and she really emphasises the quality of the coffees and the working conditions of her employees. With each year, Agnes becomes successful with this model and works out more independence for herself, and her team, at Nova Washing Station, where even the people at the top are female. Agnes is convinced that women are just as capable of running excellent farms. "Once the ladies are well off, the whole nation is well off!"
She also supports her female employees outside of the coffee business, teaching them tailoring so that everyone is taken care of in the off-season. She covers treatment costs and provides electricity and water hookups for neighboring homes. In this coffee you will taste the power of coffee produced by Rwandan women!
How do you brew the coffee Café des Mamas for filter and espresso?
- We believe that the brewed coffee is a very personal and subjective thing. Some might like a more punchy acidic beverage, others might enjoy a more creamy and sweet experience, so we really advise each and every person to find the recipe that they really love!
But how we like to prepare this coffee in espresso is the 1:2 ratio, 92,5 degrees Celsius temperature and for more sweetness, we prefer a slightly quicker extraction, so we usually keep it around 24 seconds.
As for filter, we either use a V60 or Origami, the water at 93 degrees Celsius, when being the coffee for the three of us at 80plus, we do 30g for 500ml of water, and we usually get the most out of our coffees with a pre infusion and two pours.
The only thing left to say now, is that we truly hope you'll enjoy these coffees and Merry Christmas from the team at Swerl!